The Wild Bunch, Cont.


Outside magazine, September 1999

CONTENDERS
The Wild Bunch, Cont.
Why stop at 12? There's plenty more where those came from.

POLITICS | VIRGIN LAND: A HISTORY | FRONT LINES | CONTENDERS



FAR NORTH

COPPER RIVER DELTA: Wetland habitat for ten million shore birds at the feet of Alaska's Chugach Mountains (730,000 acres)

TONGASS NATIONAL FOREST: Part of the forest including Alaskan fjords, tidewater glaciers, and pink salmon runs (3.8 million acres)


NORTHWEST

COPPER SALMON: Feeding three of Oregon's prime salmon rivers (Elk, Sixes, and Coquille) (12,000 acres)

KETTLE RANGE: Including Washington's 60-mile Kettle Crest Trail—territory for wolves and the three-toed woodpecker (27,000 acres)

ROARING RIVER: Douglas fir and western red cedar in Oregon's Mount Hood National Forest (27,000 acres)

STEENS MOUNTAIN: In Oregon, sage-covered steppe and the largest fault-block in North America (612,000 acres)


ROCKIES

BIGHORN BASIN: Geologists' wonderland of deep draws, redrock canyons, and chalk cliffs, in Wyoming (325,000 acres)

COLORADO CANYONLANDS: Steep canyons on the Rockies' west slope including sections of the Yampa, Colorado, Dolores, and Gunnison Rivers (1.4 million acres)

JAMES PEAK: The largest unprotected roadless area in Colorado's sprawl-threatened Front Range (22,000 acres)

SPANISH PEAKS: East and West Peaks, and 250 ancient volcanic freestanding walls in Colorado's Sangre de Cristo Mountains (18,000 acres)

WIND RIVER BASIN: Eagle territory (bald and golden) including Poison Creek, Sweetwater River, and Whiskey Mountain, in Wyoming (52,000 acres)


WEST

BEAVER PARK: Box canyons and yellow pine trees threatened by an impending lumber sale on the north edge of South Dakota's Black Hills (5,040 acres)

CACHE CREEK: Chaparral and oak wetlands and a winter home for bald eagles, in California (100,000 acres)

LITTLE MISSOURI BADLANDS: A proposed oil well could spoil this bison- and bighorn-rich piece of North Dakota (45,000 acres)

OTAY MOUNTAIN: Rare Tecate cypress and Mexican flannel bush on the California border with Mexico (18,500 acres)

OWYHEE CANYONLANDS: One of the largest undeveloped swaths in the lower 48, in Idaho, Oregon, and Nevada (2 million acres)

PLATTE RIVER COUNTRY: Prairie falcon habitat and critical winter range for moose and elk in Wyoming (125,000 acres)


SOUTHWEST

BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK: Pure Texas Chihuahuan Desert and its esoteric inhabitants: roadrunners, Couch's spadefoot toad, and mosquito fish (533,900 acres)

BLUE RANGE: The heart of the Mexican gray wolf's habitat in Arizona (up to 600,000 acres, being inventoried)

RIO CHAMA HEADWATERS: New Mexican landscape that inspired both Georgia O'Keeffe and rare desert bighorns to come back (5,918 acres)

ROBLEDO MOUNTAINS/LAS UVAS COMPLEX: New Mexican cliffs, caves, and dinosaur tracks (210,000 acres)


MIDWEST

APOSTLE ISLANDS NATIONAL SEASHORE:One of the densest populations of black bear in the U.S., in Lake Superior off Wisconsin (42,140 acres)

NORTHWOODS BIOSPHERE RESERVE: Proposed corridor for loons and lynx in Upper Michigan, northern Minnesota, and northern Wisconsin (acreage currently being inventoried)


NORTHEAST

WILD RIVER: Critical habitat for migrating songbirds in the White Mountain National Forest of New Hampshire (32,000)


SOUTHEAST

CRAWFISH VALLEY: Largest roadless area in Virginia (18,659 acres)

HUNTING CAMP-LITTLE WOLF CREEK: Prime trout streams and seven miles of the Appalachian Trail, Virginia (8,500 acres)

KELLY RIDGE-MOCCASIN CREEK: Appalachian Trail and old-growth buckeye trees in Georgia (12,000 acres)

PISGAH NATIONAL FOREST:The view from the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina (405,863 acres)

THE PRIEST FOREST: Remote southeastern corner of the George Washington National Forest, Virginia (5,726 acres)

TALLADEGA NATIONAL FOREST: Southern tip of the Appalachians in Alabama, including the 102-mile Pinhoti Trail (381,914 acres)








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